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3 For 1
"Every Step of The Way"
by Jennifer Campbell
 

          Take three young people, exceptional vocal talent, and a desire to take America back to its Christian roots and you have one of the greatest young trips in Southern Gospel music.  Brad Hudson, Holly Robinson-Blanton, and Trenton Wood are those three young people.  They became 3 For 1 in 1996 and now they are serving God “Every Step of The Way.” 
          With all of the teen violence that has occurred in the past few years, it is especially good to see young people singing for Christ.  Brad, Holly, and Trenton have dedicated their talent and lives to God and they feel called to minister for him.  For five or more years, they sung nationwide as soloists.  In 1996, Pastor Bill Kenny of Crater View Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia decided to have a concert at his church featuring young artists.  He called Trenton Wood to schedule him for the event and he also asked Trenton if he knew of any other young people that would fit into this concept.  Trenton immediately recommended his friends Brad Hudson and Holly Robinson.  While getting sound checks before the concert Pastor Bill asked Brad, Holly, and Trenton if they could sing a song together.  They worked out arrangements on three songs, performed them that evening for the first time, and these three soloists joined together to sing for one purpose.  This is when 3 For 1 became a reality. 
          Let’s meet the members of 3 For 1.  Holly Robinson-Blanton is from Bessemer City, North Carolina where she is a member of First Wesleyan Church.  Holly began her solo ministry at the age of nine.  Her ministry has led her into all forty-eight of the contiguous United States and Canada.  At the age of thirteen, she became the youngest artist in history to debut a song into the Top Forty of the Gospel Voice Magazine’s national chart with her release of "Heaven Must Be Proud."  The success of this song led to Holly being nominated for two Diamond Awards in the categories of Soloist of the Year and Outstanding New Artist.  Holly finished in the top five of both categories and was invited to attend the Diamond Awards in Nashville.  Her main desire is that her ministry will make a difference in someone's life each day. 
          Who has had the greatest influence on Holly’s ministry?  Here is the answer to that question in her own words.  “Well I grew up listening to Southern Gospel Music.  My mom and Dad both were Southern Gospel Fans.  Growing up I fell in love with The Cathedral Quartet.  Who doesn't like them?  At the time Danny Funderburk was the tenor singer and I sung every Danny Funderburk song I could find.  Today, Danny works with Brad and I at Son Sound Music Group.  I just think it's awesome that the person I looked up to and really inspired me to sing Southern Gospel Music ended up working right beside me.” 
          Trenton Wood is from Rockingham, NC where his father pastors Beverly Hills Baptist Church.  Trenton began singing solo at the age of seven and has appeared in concert with many of Southern Gospel Music's leading groups.  At the age of 10, Trenton won the 1995 Hopper Talent Search at the North Carolina Singing Convention.  Later that year he won the Soloist Talent Search at the National Quartet Convention.  Trenton broke Brad's records and became the youngest artist to win both of these events.  Trenton had the opportunity to sing on the nationally televised TBN program, Praise the Lord in 1996 and was greatly honored when Bill Gaither invited him to appear on his "Homecoming Friends" video series in 1997.  Trenton's willingness to accept God's call and his childlike Faith have certainly opened many doors of opportunity that have led to a remarkable success for such a young man. 
          Here are Holly’s comments defining the music that they sing.  “I think that Southern Gospel Music is truly music for the "church.”  When you listen to a Southern Gospel song you can always understand every word of the song.  That's why we sing anyway, right?  I mean, if you can't understand what a person is saying in their songs what's the point.  Southern Gospel Music represents strong Christian morals.  And that's why 3 For 1 wanted to be a Southern Gospel group.” 
          Holly said that the song that has been an encouragement to her through hard times is "Well Done My Child."  She said, “We sing this song every night in concert and it gets to me every time.  I've seen many of my friends and family go on to be with the Lord and this song has helped me through those tough times know where they are.”  If Holly could have written any one song, she said, “Hands down, it’s got to be "Amazing Grace."  I know it's sung a lot and I'm sure many people are tired of the song.  But just stop and listen to the words of that song.  It could very well be the testimony song of every Christian in this world.” 
          Brad Hudson is from Mocksville, NC where he is a member of Pinedale Christian Church.  Brad began his solo ministry at the age of nine and has toured with the late Wally Fowler, The Kingsmen, Gold City and J.D. Sumner & The Stamps.  In 1990, twelve year-old Brad won The Hopper Talent Search at the North Carolina Singing Convention and at the age of 14 he won the Soloist Talent Search at the 1993 National Quartet Convention.  Brad became the youngest artist ever to win both these significant competitions.  Winning these contests earned him a recording contract with Horizon Records in Asheville, North Carolina where he recorded his first 3 projects.  Brad has released several national singles including one written by his grandmother, Arvata Kinder, entitled "Do You Believe."  Brad has surrendered his life to the work of the Lord and committed himself to making a difference in other peoples' lives through singing the gospel. 
          Although most people still know Holly as Holly Robinson, she recently became Holly Robinson-Blanton.  Here are her comments on family life and 3 For 1.  “Well, my mom and dad have always been a big part of my ministry and they try to go and help out every weekend that we sing.  My dad drives the bus and runs sound and my mom irons everybody's clothes and makes sure we stay in line.  I recently did get married, it will be a year August 14th.  The most wonderful day of my life was when I got saved when I was 10 years old.  After that it would be my wedding day!  God really did bless me by sending Jonathan my way.  He supports what I do 110%.  He understands about the traveling and even though he does have a job that he works during the week he tries to go with me every chance he gets.  3 For 1's future plans are to hire him to be the bus driver.  Then the whole family could be involved on a full time basis.” 
          Here are two embarrassing moments from Holly.  “Once when I was in 9th grade I had a teacher that asked me to go to the PE teacher and get him the "sky hook."  So being the trusting person that I am I went and asked for it.  They sent me all over the school looking for the sky hook and I was beginning to realize that there was no such thing.  So I go back to the classroom and Mr. Shaw had locked the door to where I couldn't get in.  I was embarrassed.  It's a toss up between that and the time 3 for 1 was singing outside and I swallowed a bug and about got sick on stage.” 
          Aspirations, dreams, and goals...we all have them.  Some of them are small and some of them are large, but to Jesus they are all the same.  In His timing, they will come true.  Holly said, “Like I've always said my only wish is that if there is anyone we are singing to without Jesus in their heart that they would make that decision before they leave to go home that night!  This is a big goal, and I don't know if I will see it in my lifetime but I also want to have a small part in getting prayer put back in our public schools.” 
          The focus of 3 For 1's ministry is “Taking America Back” to its Christian roots.  God has also given them the opportunity to sing in many public schools and because of this door that God has opened for them they also focus their ministry on youth.  Holly gave this advice to young people everywhere.  “Don't let all the news about how bad "young people" are get you down.  God has a plan for your life and you have to be a willing vessel.  I know  that there are good young people in the world trying to do what they can.  We see them all across the country.  I encourage you to keep your focus on God and never give up. God answers prayers.  But he will answer them in his perfect timing.  My advice is to let God lead you.  Sometimes it may not be what you want to do but if you obey him you will be happy doing it.” 
          3 For 1 have their feet planted firmly on the ground and they have a desire to serve God in every way possible.  It is evident to me that they know what they sing, they know why they sing, and they know that every word they sing is going to touch someone’s heart if they allow God to lead them.  This is exactly what all of us should be doing and I know that God is with us “Every Step Of The Way.” 
 

For more information contact:
3 For 1 Ministries
104 Bright Ave.
Bessemer City, NC 28016
Phone: (704) 868-4807
Website: www.3for1.com
 
Click Here To Read The June Cover Story Featuring Marcia Henry
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Campbell
 
18 Years Old
From McAlpin, FL
 
Contributing
Editor Of
SGN SCOOPS Magazine
Visit Jennifer's Web Site at:  http://www.jennifercampbell.net
 
 
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